Yesterday there was a call over to a Duplex where there are two families living. The night before there was a fire in one of the 220 outlets. The renter noticed a sound coming from the laundry room. You see, earlier that evening a breaker had tripped, so the renter went out to the panel and reset a 30 amp 2-pole breaker that was shut off. When they returned from an errand is when they heard the noise. The man swiftly ran out to the laundry room and saw that a fire had started in the clothes dryer outlet.
The renter did one of the smartest things that I have ever seen. He grabbed a handful of Flour and suffocated the flames by throwing it over the outlet. DO NOT USE WATER ON AN ELECTRICAL FIRE! 911 was called and the Fire Department came and kept the family at bay as they inspected the home. After 2 hours they allowed the family to return to their home stating that there were not at risk.
When we were called in the morning, we went straight out to the site to access the situation. We looked at the damage…
Here, you can see the damage made by the fire department who were searching for potential combustion ambers. We, after seeing the damage caused by the fire, cut the wire back to a non-damaged section of the wire and accessed that there was not significant damage beyond 3″ from the burnt outlet. That was because of the heads up actions of the tenant. The 220 outlet that was installed was not grounded properly. The person that installed the outlet used a 3 prong outlet that has two hot’s and a ground and didn’t use a 4 prong that has a ground that comes from the panel. Another problem was that the cable was not a Romex. It was a SJO cable with a soft rubber insulation that should not have been used.
After seeing the Panel, we were able to clean it up significantly. It was exposed to the elements for too long…
This is one case where potentially two families could have lost their lives if it weren’t for a sharp tenant. God Bless you man.
If you need an help with your electrical in Southern California, call us. 951-522-6530
We are located in Beaumont, CA and service Inland Empire and Coachella Valley from the Salton Sea to the Orange County line. That includes; Beaumont, Banning, Palm Desert, Riverside, Yucaipa, San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Indio, Upland, Redlands, Rancho Mirage, Colton, Cabazon, Premium Hills Outlets and Cathedral City.